The night before his tenth birthday, I read him Peter in Blueberry Land, changing the words to suit his birthday rather than Peter's mother. We happily anticipated the next few days of fresh, ripe blueberries from the garden, having saved one plant from the stupid birds.
He's been struggling with migraines for a while which didn't worry me too much because I did too. His pediatrician said that we didn't have to worry about "a mass" unless he had symptoms x, y, or z. Wednesday, he started having symptoms x and y. We were terribly busy and anxious about our baby's upcoming oral surgery and trying to help my oldest daughter manage the discomfort of both swimmer's ear and brand new braces so we, mercifully, didn't even get the chance to over-Google before we got him into the doctor. My husband would catch my eye but we didn't say anything. We both knew what the other was thinking. Everyone was weary with anxiety; it wore away the cushion of kindness with which we try to treat each other and it was, frankly, a very difficult week.
My daughter's surgery ended just minutes before my husband called me with the diagnosis of a double inner ear infection. Such joyful news. The pain has been severe at times and the relief wore off enough for me to persevere and find new things to worry about. And it's nothing and everything is fine and this is the most trivial stuff, you know? I know people with actual problems so I hesitate to write about this stuff because I know - I could not be more spoiled with my three healthy children. It is just parenting and sometimes it's like Christmas morning every day and sometimes it's just so hard and scary, knowing the people you love most in the whole world could be plucked from you in an instant.
But this morning it was just my baby boy and me, laughing and picking blueberries as the sun rose. It's going to take a few more days and a few more moments like that before I can start to breathe a little easier.